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Montgomery County Council Approves Special Appropriation to Provide $800 Per Month for Selected Households in Need Through Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Rockville, Md., Dec. 14, 2021—Today, the Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to approve a nearly $2 million special appropriation to the FY22 Operating Budget for a Guaranteed Income Pilot Program. The funding was introduced by lead sponsors Councilmember Will Jawando and Council President Gabe Albornoz. Council Vice President Evan Glass and Councilmembers Tom Hucker, Craig Rice, Hans Riemer and Nancy Navarro were cosponsors.

This special appropriation will provide the initial funding to implement a Montgomery County Guaranteed Income Pilot Program. The pilot program would enroll 300 households and provide $800 per month for 24 months. This may include individuals or families with or without children. A collaborative planning effort is underway to determine how people will be enrolled into this pilot program. Efforts to address any impact from guaranteed income on other benefits, and the structure for the evaluation of outcomes for participant households are also underway.

“Guaranteed Income Programs are showing up in cities and counties across the U.S.” said Councilmember Will Jawando. “The belief that people have the ability to make the best choices to improve their economic position has shown to be true in case after case. We’re proud to be the first jurisdiction in Maryland to introduce a Guaranteed Income Pilot. As we continue through recovery from COVID-19, we look forward to helping many Montgomery County residents become more financially stable and improve their quality of life.”

Guaranteed income is a direct, recurring cash payment to a specific, targeted group of people without strings attached. The purpose of the program is to help alleviate poverty, provide a form of financial stability and give residents the ability to make their own choices to improve their economic position.

“The Guaranteed Income Pilot Program is a solution to assist families in permanently exiting poverty,” said Council President Albornoz. “It honors a family's resilience by placing trust in their ability to make their own decisions on what is best for their path forward. The first of its kind in the State of Maryland, this program will help provide economic mobility to our most vulnerable residents and put an end to generational poverty."

The pilot will be a public-private partnership with a $1 million grant from the Meyer Foundation to support this effort. Evaluation of the program will be built into the pilot as it is designed.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed that 40 percent of Americans could not afford a $400 emergency. In 2018, it was estimated that 47 percent of Montgomery County’s renter households were rent burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing. COVID-19 has disproportionately had a negative financial impact on women and people of color. Guaranteed income is expected to be an effective component of helping households recover from the economic impacts of the health crisis.

View the full Council staff report for the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program.

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Guaranteed Income Pilot Program Graphic



Release ID: 21-510
Media Contact: Cecily Thorne , 240-777-7972 , Jordan Lindsay 240-777-7809